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1600 would wish that your Lordship would either come,

or send Mr. Alexander to me, and thereafter I would meet your Lordship in Leith, or quietly at Restalrig, where we should have prepared an fine hatted kit*, with sugar and comfeits and wine, and thereafter confer on matters; and the sooner we brought our purpose to pass it were the better, before harvest. Let not Mr. W. R. your old pedagogue, ken of your coming. But rather would I, if I durst be so bold to intreat your Lordship once to come and see my own house, where I have keeped my Lord Bothwel in his greatest extremities, say the King and his Council what they would. And in case God grant us happy success in this errand, I hope both to have your Lordship and his Lordship, with many others of your lovers and his, at a good dinner before I die. Allways I hope that the King's buck-hunting at Falkland this year shall prepare some dainty chear for us, against that dinner, the next year, jocose hoc, to animate your Lordship at this time: but, afterwards, we will have better occasion to make merry. I protest, my Lord, before God, I wish nothing with a better heart nor to atchieve to that which your Lordship would fain attain unto; and ту

continual

prayer shall tend to that effect; and with the large spending of my lands, goods, yea, the hazarding of my life, shall not afray me from that, although the scaffold were already set up, before I should falsify my pro. mise to your Lordship, and persuade your Lordship 1600 thereof. I trow your Lordship has an proof of my constancy already or now. But, my Lord, whereas your Lordship desires, in your letter, that I crave my Lord, my brother's mind anent this matter, I utterly disassent from that, that he ever should be an counsellor thereto; for, in good faith, he will never help his friend nor hurt his foe. Your Lordship may confide more in this old man, the bearer hereof, my man, Laird Bour, than in my brother; for I lippen my life, and all that I have else, in his hands; and I trow he would not spare to ride to hell's gate to please me; and he is not beguiled of my part to him. Always, my Lord, when your Lordship has read my letter, deliver it to the bearer again, that I may see it burnt with my own eyes; as I have sent your Lordship's letter to your Lordship again; for so it is the fashion I grant. And I pray your Lordship to rest fully persuaded of me, and all that I have promised; for I am resolved, howbeit it were to die the morn. I must entreat your Lordship to expede Bour, and give him strait directions, upon pain of his life, that he take never a wink of sleep until he see me again, or else he will utterly undo us. I have already sent another letter to the gentleman your Lordship knows, as the bearer will show your Lordship of his answer, and forwardness with your Lordship; and I shall show your Lordship farther at meeting, when and where your Lordship shall think it meetest. Till which time, and ever, I commit your Lordship to the protection of Almighty God.

* A hatted kit is a dish common in Scotland at this hour. It is a preparation of milk kept for some time. The whey is let off, and the remainder is of a pretty thick consistence, and no unpleasant acidity:

From Gunn's Green, the 29th day of July, 1600.

1600 P. S. Prays your Lordship hold me excused for

my unseemly letter, which is not so well written as inister were; for I durst not let any writers ken of it, but took two sundry idle days to do it myself. I will never forget the good sport that Mr. Alexander, your Lordship's brother, told me of a nobleman of Padua. It comes so oft to my memory; and, indeed, it is aparastur* to this purpose we have in hand.

Your Lordship's own sworn and bunden man,

to obey and serve with effold and ever ready ?'service, to his utter power, to his life's end,

RESTALRIG.

LETTER V.

Right Honourable, my hearty duty remembered, ye know I told you at our last meeting in the Canongate, that Mr. Alexander, my Lord of Gowrie's bro thér, had spoken with me anent the matter of oui conclusion; and, for my own part, I shall not be hind most. "And, sinsyne, I got a letter from his Lord ship’s self for that same purpose; and, upon the re ceipt thereof, understanding his Lordship’s frank ness and forwardness in it, God knows if my hea. was not lifted ten stages. I posted this same bear to your Lordship, to whom you may concredit your

heart in that as well as I: for, and it were n very soul, 1 durst make him messenger thereof, have such experience of his truth in many oth things. He is a silly old glied carle, but wonder 1 nest; and, as he has reported to me his Lordshi

* Apropos.

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1600

If these letters are genuine, the controversy re. specting Gowry's conspiracy is ended. I shall now state the proof of their authenticity. On the substance of these letters, or what is called the internal evidence, I shall make few remarks.

There are certain passages in these letters which express such a strength, and originality of feature, as indicate the author to have been a character strong. ly marked; and give reason to believe that the person who composed them was not writing under a fictitious signature. In one of them Logan observes,

your Lordship desires in your letter that I crave my 'Lord, my brother's mind, anent this matter; Iutterly disassent from that, that he should ever be an counsellor thereto, for in good faith he will never "help his friend, nor hurt his foe.' In another, he adds, “ for God's sake let neither any knowledge

come to my Lord, my brother's ears, nor yet to * Mr. W. R. my Lord's old Pedagogue; for my bro.

ther is kittle* to shoe behind, and dare not enterprise for fear; the other will disswade us from our purpose, with reasons of religion which I can never ! abide. The following passage in letter 1st, in my opinion, confirms its originality: 'When ye have read, send this back again with the bearer, that I may see it burn't myself.' This precaution, which it was extremely natural for a person to suggest, who was writing on so dangerous a subject, yet which might in the issue be neglected, would have been the most absurd paragraph that could be invented by one

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* Ticklish, in allusion to a horse that kicks and winces while he is shoed.

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